Clinical Psychologist, Akosuo Boah has revealed that the range of conditions previously known as Autism or Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) or Asperger’s Syndrome now come under the common umbrella of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).
Speaking on Plan B FM ‘Apomuden Fie’ with Nana Konadu Okontie, she explained that Autism spectrum disorder (ASD), or autism, is a broad term used to describe a group of neurodevelopmental conditions. These conditions are characterized by differences in communication and social interaction.
She said that People with ASD often demonstrate restricted and repetitive interests or patterns of behavior and ASD is diagnosed more often in boys than in girls.
“ASD is found in people around the world, regardless of race and ethnicity, culture, or economic backgrounds but Africa especially Ghana is still finding it difficult to Accept people with ASD and Treat them well”. She said.
She further explained the characteristics of People with ASD as follows :
“Autistic children might have trouble expressing their feelings or understanding those of others starting at 36 months.
As they age, they might have difficulty talking or very limited speaking skills. Other autistic children might develop language skills at an uneven pace.
If there’s a particular topic that’s very interesting to them, for example, they might develop a very strong vocabulary for talking about that one topic.
But they might have difficulty communicating about other things.
As autistic children begin talking, they might also talk in an unusual tone that can range from high-pitched and “sing-songy” to robotic or flat.
They might also show signs of hyperlexia which involves reading beyond what’s expected of their age.
Children on the autism spectrum might learn to read earlier than their neurotypical peers, sometimes as early as age 2.
But they tend to not comprehend what they’re reading.
She concluded that Autistic kids Are special and have to be treated special.